Kona Kitchen: Ono Grinds in Seattle

Loco moco is not the first thing I'd normally order when breakfasting in Hawaii. Steamed white rice topped with a fried egg and brown gravy sound tasty enough, not so different in concept from an egg benedict really. It's the ground beef patty that gives me pause, the potential always there for lean and rubbery... Continue Reading →

Santa Maria-Style BBQ at Far Western Tavern (Orcutt, CA)

For the past several years, it was a goal of mine to sample barbecued beef in the Santa Maria Valley along California's Central Coast. But, the opportunity never came for one reason or another during the long drives between Seattle and Los Angeles. Either the timing was not right or we were in a hurry to get... Continue Reading →

Lunch at Los Agaves (Santa Barbara, CA)

Every one of us can recall when one of our favorite restaurants closes its doors for good. It's all the more upsetting when it was responsible for introducing you to a defining dish, one that stays in your memory long after you've had it, one that hasn't been matched by any restaurant since. Such was... Continue Reading →

Spectacular Elk

The small town of Elk, CA, population of just over 200, can boast that it has one of the most spectacular collection of sea stacks offshore. To the north on California Highway 1, there is a turnout high above the ocean that offers as dramatic a coastal view as you'll ever see anywhere. Some of the... Continue Reading →

Pygmies among Giants

In the middle of the vast redwood empire where the tallest living things on Earth live, a small section of Van Damme State Park just south of Mendocino features a pygmy forest. The trees are so small that their trunks can be only 1/4" in diameter yet be almost a hundred years old. The forest... Continue Reading →

Forest to Sea—Brookings to Mendocino

We had hoped to time our arrival to Brookings when the Easter lily fields would be in bloom. At least, that was what we were expecting after reading about the farms. Left to their own devices, they would naturally bloom in July. You're probably wondering like I did, isn't Easter-time their time to flower? It... Continue Reading →

Pancho’s Restaurante (Brookings, OR)

It took one bite of the burrito to realize that the red snapper was faultlessly fresh. My memory doesn't serve me if I'd ever eaten a fish burrito before. I don't normally choose anything with a cream sauce, but the dish was listed as one of the specialties at Pancho's Restaurante. Fortunately, the cream was added with restraint. The entire... Continue Reading →

Mo’s Clam Chowder (Florence, OR)

Along the Oregon coast, seafood restaurants are as numerous as the sea stacks offshore. Mo's is a local seafood restaurant that established a reputation with its clam chowder. There are now six locations, including two in Newport, where Mo's had its beginning. Since my wife and I were driving through Florence, we stopped here for... Continue Reading →

Conde McCullough and the Siuslaw River Bridge (Florence, OR)

"From the dawn of civilization up to the present, engineers have been busily engaged in ruining this fair earth, and taking all the romance out of it. They have cluttered up God’s fair landscape with hideous little buildings and ugly railroads." Conde McCullough, 1937 One of the striking landscape features of coastal Oregon is the... Continue Reading →

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